Biochemistry Department

Li Fan


Dr. Li Fan

Li Fan
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Director of UCR Macromolecular X-ray
Crystallography Core Facility

Structural Biology, Protein X-Ray Crystallography, DNA Repair and Recombination, Bacteria-Host Interactions, Amino Acid/Peptide Metabolism

Fan Research Group
PubMed Citations


Dr. Fan received his B.S. degree from Beijing University in 1987, and Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University in 2000 (under the supervision of Professor Laurie Kaguni). He was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Scripps Research Institute and University of California Berkeley (both in the Laboratory of Professor John Tainer). Dr. Fan joined University of California Riverside in 2009. The focus of his laboratory is to understand the structure and function of key enzymes or proteins important for 1) DNA repair and recombination; 2) amino acid/peptide metabolism; 3) bacteria-host interactions.

Research Interests

Our research focuses on proteins and enzymes playing key roles in important biological processes. We apply a combination of protein X-ray crystallography, biochemistry and molecular biology techniques to study the structure and function of these proteins as well as their interactions with substrates and/or protein partners. Three major projects are currently carried out in our lab: 1) DNA repair and recombination: we currently focus on DNA helicases and translocases involved in DNA repair pathways; 2) Amino acid/peptide metabolism: we have collaborated with others to study enzymatic mechanisms of tryptophan synthase and aminopeptidases; 3) bacteria-host interactions: we are interested in the structure and functions of proteins encoded by hypothetical Xanthomonas genes associated with citrus canker.

Selected Publications
  • A cytoplasmic long noncoding RNA LINC00470 as a new AKT activator to mediate glioblastoma cell autophagy WM Liu C, Zhang Y, She X, Fan L, Li P, Feng J, Fu H, Liu Q, Liu Q, Zhao C ... J Hematol Oncol. 11 (1), 77-87.  2018 Jun 4;11(1):77. doi: 10.1186/s13045-018-0619-z. PMID: 29866190 

  • The archaeal ATPase PINA interacts with the helicase Hjm via its carboxyl terminal KH domain remodeling and processing replication fork and Holliday junction B Zhai, K DuPrez, X Han, Z Yuan, S Ahmad, C Xu, L Gu, J Ni, L Fan, ...Nucleic acids research  2018 May 29. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky451. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29846688

  • The Potential Role of circRNA in Tumor Immunity Regulation and Immunotherapy WM Xu Z, Li P, Fan L. Front Immunol.
    2018 Jan 22;9:9. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00009. eCollection 2018. Review. PMID: 29403493 

  • Application of Electrochemical Devices to Characterize the Dynamic Actions of Helicases on DNA.
    Kahanda D, DuPrez KT, Hilario E, McWilliams MA, Wohlgamuth CH, Fan L, Slinker JD.

    Anal Chem. 2018 Feb 6;90(3):2178-2185. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b04515. Epub 2018 Jan 17. PMID: 29285929 
  • Novel Therapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme by Restoring LRRC4 in Tumor Cells: LRRC4 Inhibits Tumor-Infitrating Regulatory T Cells by Cytokine and Programmed... WM Li P, Feng J, Liu Y, Liu Q, Fan L, Liu Q, She X, Liu C, Liu T, Zhao C ...Front Immunol. 2017 Dec 11;8:1748. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01748. eCollection 2017.PMID: 29312296

  • Human resistin protects against endotoxic shock by blocking LPS-TLR4 interaction.Jang JC, Li J, Gambini L, Batugedara HM, Sati S, Lazar MA, Fan L, Pellecchia M, Nair MG. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Nov 28;114(48):E10399-E10408. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716015114. Epub 2017 Nov 13. PMID: 29133417
  • B. Zhai, K. Duprez, T. I. Doukov, J. Ni, L. Gu, Yulong Shen*, Li Fan* (2017). “Structure and function of a novel ATPase that interacts with Holliday junction resolvase Hjc and promotes branch migration”. J. Mol. Biol. 429 (7): 1009-1029. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2017.02.016. (impact factor: 4.517).  PMID: 28238763
  •  B. G. Caulkins, R. P. Young, R. A. Kudla, C. Yang, T. J. Bittbauer, B. Bastin, E.o. Hilario, Li Fan, M. J. Marsella, M. F. Dunn, and L. J. Mueller* (2016). “NMR Crystallography of a Carbanionic Intermediate in Tryptophan Synthase: Chemical Structure, Tautomerization, and Reaction Specificity”. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138 (46), 15214-15226. doi:  10.1021/jacs.6b08937. .  (impact factor: 13.038)  PMID: 27779384.
  •  K. DuPrez, M. Scranton, L. Walling*, and Li Fan* (2016). “Structure insights for the chaperone activity enhancement by mutation K354E in tomato acidic leucine aminopeptidase”. Acta Cryst. D72: 694-702. doi:10.1107/S205979831600509X.  (impact factor: 2.512).  PMID: 27139632
  • E. Hilario, B. G. Caulkins, Y.M.M. Huang, Chang, Chia-en; M. F. Dunn*; L. J. Mueller*; Li Fan* (2016). “Visualizing the tunnel in tryptophan synthase with crystallography: Insights into a selective filter for accommodating indole and rejecting water” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics 1864 (3): 268-279. (Impact factor: 3.191). PMID: 26708480 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570963915003052

  • Catalytic roles of βLys87 in tryptophan synthase: 15N solid state NMR studies.Caulkins BG, Yang C, Hilario E, Fan L, Dunn MF, Mueller LJ.Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Feb 14. pii: S1570-9639(15)00039-4.doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2015.02.003. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25688830.(impact factor: 3.191)
  • XPB: An unconventional SF2 DNA helicase.Fan L, DuPrez KT.Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2015 Mar;117(2-3):174-81.doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2014.12.005. Epub 2015 Jan 30. Review.PMID: 25641424. (impact factor: 2.274)

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